The troubled Rams have been in administration since last September with American businessman Chris Kirchner desperate to get a deal for the relegated club over the line
Troubled Derby County could look into the possibility of ground-sharing with either Stoke or Leicester as they look to overcome a significant hurdle in their ongoing takeover discussions.
American businessman Chris Kirchner is attempting to purchase the Rams, who will play in League One next season, but has admitted that the club’s stadium situation is a big issue. County do not own Pride Park after former owner Mel Morris separated the ground from the club back in 2018.
Therefore the stadium is not part of the administration process. In a fresh interview, just days before his period of exclusivity ends, Kirchner said: “It is just the way the entities under the previous owner were tied together.
“The stadium and the rights to that stadium are intertwined for a lot of those. Without getting too detailed or too complex, and obviously to have a club and to have a deal officially approved by the EFL you have to have a lease or own a ground. You have to have somewhere to play and so for all those reasons it’s tied in. Because it is not part of the administration it has added a layer of complexity in trying to get this deal done because of the different parties that have to make decisions on it.”
The Sun now claims a way around the issue could be for Derby to re-locate and groundshare with one of their Midlands rivals.
Stoke’s bet365 Stadium, which holds roughly 3,000 fewer seats than Pride Park, is 40 miles away from Derby. Leicester’s King Power Stadium, which has a capacity of just over 32,000, is 33 miles away.
The EFL released a statement on the Derby situation on Thursday evening, which said: “The EFL Board has today been advised that a deal to take Derby County out of administration and under the ownership of Mr Chris Kirchner is nearing completion.
“Evidence of source and sufficiency of funding has now been provided but there still remain a number of outstanding challenges to be resolved. As a result, the Board has instructed the Executive to continue its discussions with Mr Kirchner and his representatives in regard to finalising the terms of a Membership agreement. However, a significant issue remains in respect of the status of the stadium and Mr Kirchner continues in dialogue with the relevant parties as to how this can be resolved. It is clear that the complexity associated with this aspect of the transaction is the biggest hurdle to overcome.
“The EFL acknowledges the current time pressures relating to Mr Kirchner’s position as preferred bidder and will seek to conclude matters as soon as possible in line with requirements as set out in the League’s Insolvency Policy. The League will be making no further comment at this time.”
Amid the takeover uncertainty, Derby have one more game left in the Championship in what has been a tumultuous campaign. The Rams, who have been in administration since last September, bow out of the second tier with a home game against Cardiff City.